YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Mercy Health officials confirmed Thursday that they are moving forward with a system-wide COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

A spokesperson for the health care system said they are proceeding with plans to “meet the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid requirement for health care workers to be fully vaccinated by Jan. 4.”

In August, officials said they are not requiring employees to get vaccinated but hoped that they would voluntarily.

In September, President Joe Biden announced a sweeping mandate that included all businesses that have 100 employees or more or submit to weekly testing. The measure also included a mandate for health care workers, which reads below:

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is taking action to require COVID-19 vaccinations for workers in most health care settings that receive Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement, including but not limited to hospitals, dialysis facilities, ambulatory surgical settings, and home health agencies. This action builds on the vaccination requirement for nursing facilities recently announced by CMS, and will apply to nursing home staff as well as staff in hospitals and other CMS-regulated settings, including clinical staff, individuals providing services under arrangements, volunteers, and staff who are not involved in direct patient, resident, or client care. These requirements will apply to approximately 50,000 providers and cover a majority of health care workers across the country. Some facilities and states have begun to adopt hospital staff or health care sector vaccination mandates. This action will create a consistent standard across the country, while giving patients assurance of the vaccination status of those delivering care.

Several legal challenges have been levied against the mandates, including those for federal workers. Just recently, the mandate was blocked for federal contractors in Ohio.